So far my job as an ecological surveyor for the summer has solely involved monitoring of greater crested newts (GCNs), otherwise known as stumbling around ponds in the dark.
My dad says I should write a blog post about how many jobs I’ve had in the past six months, and he’s certainly had worse ideas – so here is a snapshot of six months in the working life of a zoologish (warning: does not contain much zoology).
Time for the second half of my virtual tour of the aquarium, covering the Bay of Rays, the Amazon River, and the Coral Seas.
I’ve recently had the opportunity to do some squid dissections for an audience of fascinated/horrified children and adults. Although we did do a squid dissection lab in my first or second year of University I’d long since forgotten the details, so it was quite fun to relearn these and share them with the public.
I recently started a job at Bristol Aquarium as a guest experience assistant, so I thought I’d take you on a virtual tour of the place, starting with the biggest tank in the aquarium, the natives tank.
In light of Japan’s recent decision to leave the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and return to commercial whaling, it’s fair to wonder when, why, and how the IWC was first established, and what keeps leading us back to this debate.
Where better to be on a cold rainy Saturday in November than at Plymouth University Marine Station, learning all about surveying for whales and dolphins! Clearly I’m not the only person who thought so anyway, as the room was packed with marine mammal surveyors to-be.
I realise that over the past few weeks I have been waiting until I have a ‘proper job’ or ‘something exciting’ sorted out before writing a post, but that actually goes against the ethos behind this blog. As we’re all aware, getting into research and conservation is incredibly challenging, and we all still need to earn money and have lives in the interim. So this is what mine looks like at the moment.
My third article for The Conservation Project International is all about the common skate. Skates are elasmobranchs (the same class as sharks and rays). The common skate is very large at up to 2.85m, slow-growing and long-lived (three traits that often mean vulnerable to extinction). It used to be one of the most abundant skates in the world but it now critically endangered largely due to harmful fishing practices such as bottom trawling.
I spent ten weeks as a research assistant for Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) on their Osa In-Water Project. This is one of very few projects that aims to study sea turtles in their foraging environment rather than on nesting beaches (which only make up 2% of the life cycle, and where you can only study adult females and hatchlings). I worked with hawksbill, green and Pacific green turtles. The project also has a mangrove reforestation element, and aims to work with and within the local community.